Old British Elegance – Laura Ashley

The thing about personal style and home interior, at least for me, is that it reflects the situation in which you are currently living. Right now, we are in this metropolitan spot with its fast speed, crazy work hours and high rise buildings made out of steel and glass. Our home is not a reflection of the people living there, but merely a place where we, as Expats, are nesting. Of course it is beautiful, the neighbourhood is breathtaking and I have crawling distance to the pool – but still I can’t help but miss a little part of our previous home, back home in Scandinavia, where the atmosphere were quite different.

I love Scandinavian style for its clean lines, simple features and chic vibes. It is functional and sleek. But sometimes it can be a bit too “cold” for my taste and when I need more heart and comfort in my home, I have always looked to Laura Ashley. 

Some might say that it is way too much Granny-style or floral but I’ve always loved the brand as long as it is used in small and strategic ways. I have had wallpapers in all forms and shapes, especially loving those with birds or birdcages on, I’ve loved their pillow cases and accessories for years. Here in Dubai, we have such a beautiful Laura Ashley store and I long to just go crazy and make my home more like me and less like the urban city it belongs to. Time will tell if I get to do it.

Anyway. Rambling away…

I got a gift. My friend’s amazingly beautiful now 15 year old daughter bought me a Laura Ashley Home Bath Foam as a thank you for some makeup application lessons I’ve given her. It is hard to describe how something so “small” can mean so much but it really did. I had no idea that the company made bath and body-products, I’ve totally missed out on that and it was such a fitting gift!

The scent; Fresh Linen & Jasmine is just so elegant and decadent. It is the best scent for a relaxing bath before its time to sleep and my husband keeps on stealing it from me, thinking I won’t notice!

With a good 470ml, this product is going to last for a long time since a little goes a very long way. Poured under hot running water it produces such a rich, foaming lather built up by small bubbles, it feels like sinking into a tub of mousse and champagne (not that I’ve actually tried that, but you get the picture!). I think the quality and longevity of the foam is equal to the bath range of Laura Mercier and the scent really is exactly my preference.

With  Jasmine, Rose, Bergamot and Orange it is very fresh and calming; soothing even. It makes me feel more like home and even though I can’t have my Laura Ashley wallpapers right now, I can still enjoy some of that elegant English country manor style.

I love the fact that they do beauty products as well. The history of this family-owned company where wife Laura, husband Bernard and their four children all made and make the company flourish is exquisite. Laura Ashley said in interviews that she didn’t like fashion or the most urban environment, she liked “things that lasts forever”. Her repetitive patterns and natural materials are a testimony to that statement and the bath-line feels the same way: understated, elegant and quiet.

In 1975, Laura Ashley turned down an OBE as she felt it was wrong that her husband, who had built the company up as much as herself, was not awarded one. Bernard Ashely was later Knighted but unfortunately, Laura never got to experience it. At the age 60, she fell down the stairs at her daughter’s house and later was declared dead. Way to young to pass.

The history around a family creating pieces four other families to live among makes me smile. It gives some depth and value to the brand and I love having it in my home and my surrounding. If you run into the bath and body-line I truly recommend you to pick it up. It is not niche or superb luxury but homey and warm. Lush.

Also shown in the picture are some skincare products by Boots Botanics, that too being an old British establishment but a lot different from flowers and birds at the countryside! ♥

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2 Comments
  1. Hi Honey, what a lovely post. I discovered LA back in the early 80’s when it became very popular for its clothing as much as anything else. We have certainly decorated our home in her style as it suits its age and location. It almost gives you a sense of family history, and a feeling of movies such as A room with a view and Howard’s End (If you have never seen them.. please watch!) but with a modern edge. All about light and subtle colours. My girls bedrooms are also decorated from the LA collection (although buried under a mountain of mess!). As for good old Boots I am a major fan of botanics cleansing balm super dupe for the Emma Hardy! Enjoy your gorgeous bath foam. xxx

    1. Hi Cutie Pie! You were the one on my mind when I wrote this piece, all our talks about living in such separate “worlds” but still so similar. I could see your house in front of me. Back home in my magnificent 1919s apartment I had a rather large hall with old floorings and beautiful details in the ceiling. I covered the hall in a pale mint-green LA wallpaper filled with exotic birds and cages. Every time I came home, it greeted me and made me feel so happy. I love LA! And you are right, Boots Botanics is a great dupe for EH! Totally!. Yes, of course I’ve seen those movies :))). Kisses Eliza, have a wonderful day! M

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